Here are five things that we think happen in the new year:
Blake Wheeler will be a Penguin
After reading this, and then reading about how Wheeler made the USA Olympic team, it almost makes too much sense. Wheeler has 31 points for Winnipeg. He has a relatively modest cap hit at $5.6 million. The only issue is whether or not he can play with Sidney Crosby. If Crosby signs off on it, this is a logical Shero move.
Dan Bylsma will either rise to unlimited heights or get fired.
2014 will be memorable for Dan Bylsma. If he leads the USA to a gold medal in Sochi, it could change hockey in America forever. Youth hockey is already on the rise in the U.S. A gold medal could push things to a new level. Bylsma probably would never be fired as Penguins coach, and if he is, he'll never go without a job.
…or Bylsma will flame out in Sochi. Then the Penguins will exit the playoffs early. Bylsma will be fired if this happens.
Crosby will win gold
There was unlimited pressure on Canada in 2010. They were on Canadian ice, and those crowds were tight. This time, they are over in Russia, and while the pressure will still exist, it won't be as extreme. Sidney Crosby could take his iconic status to god levels if he pulls this one off. We think Russia will fall. Probably Canada vs. Sweden or something.
Pens vs. Leafs or Wings in the first round of the playoffs
These are standings today:
With how bad the Metro has been, it is hard to imagine a wild card coming from that division. The Atlantic has been like it is for a while now. Wings or Leafs will be the first-round opponent in our opinion.
EFC: Pens vs. Bruins
Rematch city in the works. No clue who wins, and no clue how the internet will survive.